Comida Bandidas visit Mo Chica

All too often, I hear women complaining that they don't have enough girl friends. We all move along after college, get too busy with work, life and boyfriends and seem to lose touch with our close girls. So, I thought it would be fun to get a group of ladies together every month or so to sample some new worldly cuisine, sharing each other's friendship and a love of exploring the unknown. It's an open supper club called the Comida Bandidas (Food Bandits), and we are going through the alphabet A-Z (hopefully a few times over).
We started with food from the Andes, and what better place than the already-popular Mo Chica. The Peruvian fare was not at all what I expected. Initially I thought it would just be an extension of the majority of Latin American food, spiked with citrus, cilantro and tomato.
 Pork belly over plantains--made a great carnitas-style taco lunch a few days later!
La Causa: Confit garlic, sun dried tomatoes, avocado mouse and olive aoli (sounds more Italian than Peruvian, no?)

What stuck out to me was the use of really creamy sauces, and subtle heat that's more similar to Indian curries than Mexican serranos. I was also taken aback by the use LOTS of corn, sun dried tomatoes and nori, an element taken from the strong Japanese and Chinese influence in Peru.

Carapulcra, traditionally made with camel meat but here done with fish/pork
A really hearty wintertime dish; As Melissa said, "That's substantial!"

Ricardo's  tasting menu was really unique, and I'd definitely return for a lunch. Dinner, however was a bit odd--El Mercado La Paloma was pretty barren when we were there. And considering it's ladies' night, we'll have to go somewhere with some cocktails.

Corn nuts, which would have been great with a pisco sour :-)
Maracuya Susprio: Passion fruit mouse with Chantilly creme

Comida Bandidas (and a few strapping bandidos!)

--Krista Simmons